End of homelessness could be in sight as new ‘micro homes’ to help rough sleepers

It’s always jarring to know that we live in one of the richest countries in the world, yet the UK still cannot conquer poverty in the year 2020.

However, thanks to what can only be described as an incredible initiative, things could be set to change for homeless people forever.

Introducing the ‘micro home’, six pods – each featuring its own coloured door – have been installed in Cambridge on land belonging to a local church.

[Credit: Jean-Luc Benazet]

Cleverly, the properties have been designed to be easily relocated to another site if needed, with those living in them also free to choose to remain in them during the relocation or stay in Cambridge should they find more permanent accommodation.

While you could be forgiven for thinking Cambridge is associated with luxury as it is home to the country’s brightest students and post-graduates, the reality is very different.

Homeless charity Shelter has revealed the number of people either living on the streets or in temporary shelters in Cambridge – with one in every 784 people homeless.

[Credit: Nick Fewings]

On a mission to reduce those figures, the micro homes aim for maximum independence, each one equipped with a kitchen, living area, bathroom, bedroom and washing machine.

Meanwhile, residents on site will also receive support from homeless charity Jimmy’s Cambridge who provide 24/7 emergency care for those in need.

Alongside Jimmy’s, charity Allia – who support development projects with a positive impact for people and the planet – are also behind the project, along with ethical construction social enterprise, New Meaning Foundation.

[Credit: Matt Collamer]

Speaking about the campaign, Chief Executive of Jimmy’s Cambridge, Mark Allan, said: “One of the main challenges facing people who are homeless is finding affordable accommodation, together with the support to help deal with the causes of what led them to sleeping rough on the streets in the first place. This project offers both.

“Six new affordable homes backed up with a team of committed, caring staff and volunteers with expertise in supporting people deal with their addictions, build their self-worth and tackle their mental health difficulties, reconnect with estranged family, find employment, and so much more. These new homes will change people’s lives.”

Meanwhile, Group Director of Impact at Allia, Martin Clark, added: “We hope this will be the start of more innovative projects until there is enough housing for all who need it.”

While the micro homes are yet to be rolled out across Britain, this project certainly offers a glimmer of hope ahead of its launch next week as to what the future holds.